26 February 2024

St Thalilæus, a Cilician, Recluse in Syria

From Fr Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints:

HE lived a recluse on a mountain in Syria, and shut himself up ten years in an open cage of wood. Theodoret asked him why he had chosen so singular a practice? The penitent answered: “I punish my criminal body, that God seeing my affliction for my sins, may be moved to pardon them, and to deliver me from, or at least to mitigate, the excessive torments of the world to come, which I have deserved.” See Theodoret, Phil. c. 28. John Mosch in the Spiritual Meadow, c. 59. p. 872, relates that Thalilæus, the Cilician, spent sixty years in an ascetic life, weeping almost without intermission; and that he used to say to those who came to him: “Time is allowed us by the divine mercy for repentance and satisfaction, and wo to us if we neglect it.”

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